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Subaru says no to fixed price sales model for new cars

The Australian distributor of Subaru vehicles in Australia says that they have no plans to switch to a non-negotiable fixed-price sales model in their Australian dealerships.

Japanese car maker Subaru has joined an increasing group of car makers who say that they have no plans to change from their current sales model to non-negotiable fixed prices for new cars sold in Australia.

Fellow Japanese car manufacturer, Honda, and German automaker Mercedes-Benz have recently overhauled their sales model switching from a traditional dealer business to a fixed price model in Australia after rewriting the contracts they held with showroom owners and appointing them as selling ‘agents’.

While it’s illegal for competing car dealerships to have fixed prices, there exists a legal loophole that enables car companies to reword their contracts with dealers, hold vehicle stock and appoint showroom owners as ‘agents’ rather than dealers.

MY18 Subaru Outback 3.6R.

When asked if Subaru was contemplating a switch to the fixed-price sales model in Australia, Blair Read, the boss of Subaru Australia said, “No, it’s not something that’s on our radar.

“We’ve had a longstanding good working relationship with our dealer network. We see the real importance of that combined partnership.

“A country the size of Australia, you need good operators. Subaru’s been very strong, particularly regionally (with) our dealer network. We have longstanding relationships with many dealers.”

Mr Read said that the biggest challenge they faced was securing enough stock in order to meet growing customer demand. Stock shortages are still an ongoing issue amongst dealerships with the semiconductor shortage affecting supply chains around the world.

The executive said that they’re focusing on “learning from the COVID period of managing, going from a free-supply situation to a tight-supply situation”.

The Subaru Australia boss said that their relationship with the dealer networks has grown closer in the last few years.

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